Monday, July 24, 2006


We Must Avoid Being Drawn into a Regional Middle East War

Last Friday, I posted on the war in the Lebanon, criticizing our government's reluctance to censure Israel for continuing to over-react to Hizbullah's original attack. Since then I've read stuff which partly reinforce my view and also challenge its basis. Dealing with the latter first, a comment on my post led me to consult this source. This post on the 'Information Clearing House' site about which I know nothing I should add, claims the 'three week war' on Lebanon by Israel has been planned and cleared by Washington for over a year. This could be, as I suspect, standard Muslim supporting disinformation or there could be something more to it.

The former reinforcement comes via Jackie Ashley whose article today points out that:

i) within the UK, the government is not supported by: much of the rank and file party membership, juniuor foreign minister Kim Howells, a majority of Labour backbenchers, Cameron's deputy and foreign affairs spokesman not to mention the Liberal Democrats.

ii) if we fail to distance ourselves from the US position we could find our 'nodding dog diplomacy' leading us being drawn inexorably, and horrifically into a regional Middle East war.

iii) by the autumn conferences we will be seeing foreign polciy take centre stage with Blair facing noisy oppostion for his 'union flag neo-conservativism parading as Labour foreign policy'.

Ashley recommends we join other EU countries in urging a ceasefire through the UN. 'Hugging close' the world's hyper power has been proven to be a pathetically one sided arrangement from which the UK has gained almost nothing as well as lose much of the respect we once commnaded.

I agree I want this Government to be remembered for the good it has done on trade union recognition, minimum wage e.t.c and to go much further on that rather than getting dragged into events in the Middle East.

I support the right of Israel to exist and defend itself. I also condemn their disproportionate use of force. I have no time for Galloway, stop the war e.t.c who are apologists for Hezbollah.

Its high time we realised that international solidarity means working for peace not offering unconditional support to Israel.
All sounding very good Adele but...

What would you actually do to allow Israel to live in peace? Can you understand that it is not merely enough to "defend" Israel's right to exist, and then deny them any such means to ensure this existence? Have you any proof that terrorists have not been specifically targetted? Do you think Britain would behave as reasonably if a terrorist group in, say Norway, fired 2500 missiles at English towns?

Some people just don't like Israel, and they couch their anti-semitism and anti-Americanism in these illogical arguments. Tough luck. I commend Israel for its restained behaviour in such circumstances, and wish their armed forces the best of luck in tackling evil in this part of the world.
Michael O.
I would have thought that much of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon to date have clearly not been targetted on terrorists-witness the heavy civilian casualty and death rate plus the damage to infrastructure like bridges, roads and the like. As Kim Howells has reported, it seems to be 'collective punishment' for the sins of Hizbullah which are being meted out on the innocent.

I take what you say about the attacks they have incurred and the likelihood of irrational response but nonetheless the Israeli response seems disproportionate.

I also think the anti-semitic accusation regarding Israel's foreign policy is often a hollow one used to defend the not very defensible.
Israel can defend itself but compare the amount of civilians that have been killed by the IDF to Hizbollah rockets.
Maybe you are right Adele(we have no credible casualty figures as yet), but this is solely because Israel has greater ability to wage war. Do you think Hezbollah would stop if they reached a certain number? Israel has them boxed, and we can be grateful for this. The use of rockets in the long-term is unsustainable. I suspect the Israeli Government are beginning to think about preparing the ground for some sort of occupation of parts of Lebanon. This is probably the only sustainable policy to protect the lives of their people from these murderers.

There has been no collective punishment. The people who dislike Israel merely see what they wish. The response has been very measured. I think the Israeli action should motivate the people of Lebanon and their Government to tackle the evil in their midst. Many of the population see Hezbollah as "a second army". Well either that army stands down, or it faces destruction. I doubt the Lebanese people will want to be dragged into hell with it, and they should act accordingly. If they fail then it is a terrorist state, and must ultimately be destroyed. The anti-Israel brigade might as well forget moaning, because no-one important takes any notice of them anyway.

Hopefully there will be some way to find peace for the innocent people of Israel who are the victims of these terrorists, but any call for a ceasefire before these circumstances exist merely misses the point.
The 'this source' link is dead at the moment but can be found here

Information Clearing House is a compilation of left-leaning articles on world affairs
SoM. Not sure why that link doesn't work but thanks for providing a clean version of it.
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